A few days ago the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning about fraudulent testing kits being sold online to desperate customers.
"It's not a surprise that, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, fake and unauthorized at-home testing kits are popping up online as opportunistic scammers take advantage of the spike in demand," the FTC said in a press release.
Even though the Biden Administration has set up a website and is offering free kits to the public, the Coronavirus self-tests are in short supply locally in most places and people have been searching online or anywhere to find them.
The FTC has warned that buyers should be wary of scammers selling fake kits.
How to spot a fake test kit
The FTC suggests following these four steps before buying and using a testing kit:
1. Only buy tests authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration. The FDA's website has a list of more than 40 authorized home tests, some of which have age restrictions. You can buy these tests online, at pharmacies, and some retail stores.
2. Check the FDA's list of fraudulent COVID-19 products to ensure the test kit you're about to buy, or the company you're going to buy it from, isn't on there.
3. Look at a variety of sellers and compare credible reviews from expert sources like medical professionals or health organizations before making a purchase decision.
The FTC also advised searching on the Internet for the seller of the at-home testing kits along with words like "scam," "complaint," or "review" to catch the scammers.
To get the free government test kits you can go to COVIDtests.gov or you can order your kits by calling 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). Your kits will be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service within 7 to 12 days.